Check all pipes to ensure they work

Report
Off Campus Apartment
Safety
What to think about when looking at apartments
Check all pipes to ensure they work
• Flush the toilet
• Turn on all sinks
• Turn on the shower
• Check for hot water/cold water
• Make sure all sinks and showers/tubs drain properly
Electrical Outlets
• Make sure all outlets are
grounded (have the circular
plug)
• In the Kitchen and Bathroom
there should be Ground Fault
Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) on the
plugs
Windows
• Do the windows lock?
• How easy is it to open the window from the outside?
• Are there screens on the window?
• Make sure no windows are broken before moving in
• Consider the sunlight and how much enters the house
• Are there blinds that come with the windows?
• Is their moisture on the window sill and is there condensation inside
the window pane? If so, the window should be repaired.
Furniture
In many places you will need to provide your own furniture, consider
this:
• Does your furniture fit through the door?
• How easy is it to move your furniture in and out of the apartment?
• Take measurements and consider the weight/shape of your furniture
when moving
Apartment Cleanliness
In your apartment, there will probably not be anyone cleaning up the
common areas like you have in the Residence Halls. Here are some tips
to consider:
• How often will trash be taken out and by who?
• Who/How will the bathroom and kitchen be cleaned?
• Does anyone own a vacuum to clean rugs in the apartment?
• Is there a dishwasher in the apartment, or is there just a sink to clean
dishes?
Apartments and Keys
Unlike the residence halls, keys are the only barrier between you and
everyone outside. Please remember these tips with your apartment
keys:
• If you lose your apartment keys, notify your landlord immediately
• Spare keys should be left with trusted friends, not hidden outside
• Do not lend out your keys to others.
• Talk with your roommates about how to handle key situations,
roommates are just as susceptible to crime if keys are lost.
• Ask your landlord if locks will be changed when you move in and if
not, how they have accounted for all keys from previous owners.
Roommate Conflicts in Apartments
Roommate conflicts in the halls occur, but you have your RA, RD and
other options to resolve that issue. In apartments, you don’t have help
to resolving the conflict and leases lock you into your rent preventing
you from “switching rooms.”
• Calmly approach your roommate on the issue
• Take a stance of how you (the affected person) feel, not what you
want to change
• Discuss behaviors and acts rather than personal attacks
• Be willing to compromise behavior to meet the needs of everyone
Chronic Nuisance Property
Any apartment that becomes a chronic nuisance property is subject to:
• Fines
• Potential closure of property
• Fees for hearings
Some laws that are considered nuisances are (but not limited to):
• Disorderly Conduct (ORS 166.025 or CMC 5.03.050.020 and/or 5.03.080.050)
• Noise Disturbance (CMC 5.03.030.010 and 5.03.030.020)
• Minor in Possession of Alcohol (ORS 471.430 or CMC 5.03.040.010.03)
Many others: Refer to the City of Corvallis City Manager’s Website:
http://www.corvallisoregon.gov/index.aspx?page=49
Fire Safety in Apartments
The majority of fires that claim college students lives are from off-campus
apartment fires. Here are some tips to prevent this:
• Make sure that all extension cords are in useable condition and are used properly
(no piggybacking, outlet splitters at the end of extension cords etc.)
• Candles should only be lit when you are in the room with them
• Smoking should always be done outside of the apartment
• Make sure your smoke detectors have good batteries in them, there should be
one in each bedroom and the main living area.
• Consider the amount of flammable material you have in your apartment
(cardboard, paper, etc.)
• Have a fire extinguisher in your apartment, preferably the kitchen and make sure
it is full and accessible.
Read the Lease, Exceptions in Writing
Your lease is your binding contract. You have to abide by all conditions
set in the lease.
• Read the lease before you sign it and ask questions about statements
within the lease.
• If the landlord is allowing you to do something outside of the lease,
make sure to get it in writing first. Things such as painting walls,
having a pet without a deposit, etc. may result in deposit deductions
because there was no documentation of the exception.
Resources for Students
Student Legal Services (Landlord/Tenant issues)
Snell 135
(541) 737-4165
http://asosu.oregonstate.edu/legal-advising
Corvallis Police Department (Safety concerns off campus)
180 NW 5th Street
(541) 766-6924
http://www.corvallisoregon.gov/index.aspx?page=58

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